Cruz, Rubio face critical test in Nevada; candidates spread out around country

Posted at 3:34 PM, Feb 23, 2016

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tuesday night’s Nevada caucuses force a critical test on the Republican Party’s leading presidential candidates.

Ted Cruz is fighting to prevent his campaign from spiraling out of contention.

Marco Rubio is fighting to prove he can build on his recent momentum.

And Donald Trump, with his rivals locked in a battle for second, is fighting for a third straight victory. If he wins, he will expand his delegate lead, which could soon become insurmountable.

Says Rubio: “I think it’s the most unpredictable of all the races we’ve had so far.”

Cruz calls for Guantanamo expansion, not closure

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should not be closed as President Barack Obama has proposed.

Instead, the Republican presidential hopeful said during a campaign stop Tuesday in Fernley, Nevada, that the facility should be expanded to house more terrorists.

Cruz says shutting down the Guantanamo Bay facility will result in the release of terrorists who will ultimately need to be recaptured. Cruz says he fears Obama may also turn Guantanamo Bay back over to the Cuban government.

The Obama administration on Tuesday sent Congress its plan to shut down the detention center and relocate detainees to a U.S.-based prison.

Cruz also joked about Obama’s planned visit to Cuba next month, saying “it wouldn’t be a terrible thing if he just stayed.”

Trump tells voters that it won’t take long to vote in Nevada caucus

Supporters of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump are stressing to potential caucus-goers that they won’t need to stick around for hours, like in Iowa, to cast their ballots Tuesday evening.

“Do you know you can vote and go, you don’t have to wait around?” Trump volunteer Walter Seip, 74, a retired army colonel, told rally-goers as they lined up for a Trump event last night at a Las Vegas hotel and casino.

“Name of the game is you drive people in there to vote for Trump,” he explained.

Trump’s son, Eric, stressed the same message in a Twitter post that was re-tweeted by his father Tuesday morning: “Nevada remember you can “Vote and Go” – walk in vote and walk out!” he wrote.

Trump has made no secret of his disregard for the caucus system since coming in second in Iowa. He’s argued that traditional primaries offer a more accurate gauge of a candidate’s support.

Sanders touts ‘political revolution’ in Virginia

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders says Wall Street and billionaire campaign donors have an unfair advantage in the U.S. and it will take a “political revolution” to lessen their political clout.

Speaking Tuesday to thousands of supporters at Norfolk’s Scope arena, Sanders rarely mentioned rival Hillary Clinton, reiterating his belief that she was wrong on the NAFTA trade deal and is too close to Wall Street campaign donors.

Virginia is one of several states holding its primary on the so-called March 1 Super Tuesday. While preference polls have shown Clinton doing well in the moderate swing-state, the Sanders campaign says it is confident with a week to go until the contest.

Clinton recently began running TV ads in Virginia and former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to campaign on her behalf in Northern Virginia and Richmond on Wednesday.

Clinton airs criticism of Wisconsin company

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took her sharp criticism of Wisconsin auto parts maker Johnson Controls Inc. from the campaign debate stage to the airwaves.

The Clinton campaign began airing a new television spot in the Duluth, Minnesota market Tuesday that slams the suburban Milwaukee manufacturer, claiming it took a bailout from taxpayers years ago when the auto industry was unstable and is now moving its headquarters to Ireland as part of its merger with Tyco International — a move she says “shirks” its tax liability in the U.S.

The automotive sector of Johnson Controls, one of Wisconsin’s largest companies, had $20 billion in sales last year.